Our Holiday Weekend Tragedy

Our Holiday Weekend Tragedy

Thank you so much for all of you who have been praying for my son. Call it spritual Xanax. I have felt a sense of calm, peace and control throughout the past few stress filled days and I know it has to do with everyone praying for our family.  I haven’t written a heartfelt blogpost in a long time. If you have been following my blog since 2010 then you know that I have a tab called “HEARTSPEAK” where I open up, step aside from DIY and decor posts and essentially get real, personal, and speak from my heart. This will be one of those posts. 

We are a watersport family. Surfing, swimming, boating, sailing, wakeboarding, waterskiing, you name it, we love it! Saturday we took our boat out on the river for a Memorial Day weekend celebration. The day was gorgeous, warm, sunny, with cobalt blue skies and white fluffy clouds. The river is fresh water, which is rare around this salty coastal area. It is our favorite place to waterski/wakeboard because the water is like glass. 


My youngest, Mark, is 10 years old and has been slowly learning how to ski since last year. If you follow me on Instagram then you might have seen my Instastories of us on the water and saw Mark popping up on his brand new skis for the 1st time this year. We were so excited for him! He was super happy with himself too! 


An hour or two after I posted those Instastories, tragedy happened. Mark had just completed a very long ski session down the river and we were turning around. Mark lost his balance going through the wake and started to fall, which is totally normal. Learning to waterski involves a lot of falling. This looked like a normal fall, but it wasn’t. One ski flew off immediately then the other came whipping around as he went down, then flew off also. The fall looked normal, but when he came up, all we heard were screams. 


We ended up heading to the Children’s Hospital Urgent Care. After veiwing one x-ray the staff immediately jumped into action and called an ambulance to transport Mark to the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughter’s emergency room. He had a horrific spiral (torsional) compound fracture of his femur. He was THE TALK of the ER and ortho dept. The residents, nurses and docs were all coming in and intrigued to see him. His fracture is essentially unheard of during waterskiing. From what we can figure out, as he fell, the left ski fell off but his right ski caught the water turning one direction while his upper body turned the opposite direction, and the torque of the opposite directions snapped the femur instantly…… horrifying isn’t it. My poor sweet baby!


We thankfully were blessed to have a world renowned Children’s Hospital locally and the best pediatric orthopedic surgeon on call for the holiday weekend! They did surgery and installed a rod through his femur, from above his knee to his hip. The rod is in lieu of needing a cast and will give more stability to the leg. We teased Mark that he is now part Terminator and will be Terminator strong!  He has been such a little trooper, brave throughout the entire ordeal. 

We arrived home yesterday after several days at the hospital. Now the real adventure begins. He is not allowed to put any weight at all on the leg for several weeks. He slowly hops around on the good leg with the assistance of a walker and a wheelchair. Medication is helping manage pain. He needs assistance with any movement and simplest things are now huge mountains to climb. The recovery process will be arduous and sleep will be a rare commodity for me for awhile. It’s like having a newborn again, but it’s ok. I will walk through fire for my kids and sleepless nights will be a small sacrifice and blessing to be able to serve this child in his recovery. 

My mom took this gorgeous photo last night from her deck. Isn’t God’s creation amazing? There is so much beauty in the approaching storm. We are walking through a storm right now and I am choosing to not be afraid, but to see the beauty in this journey and recognize God’s hand and grace throughout it all. 

Sunset Storm

Isaiah 43:2 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through the fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” 

Thank you again for all the wonderful love and support so many of you have sent me on social media and emails. It has brought me so much encouragement and peace. 




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  1. Continued prayers for healing and patience to weather the storm with grace! Much love to Marky Mark! We love him so much! ❤️

  2. Sending healing thoughts to Mark and strength to all of your family.

  3. Nannette Crogan says:

    Having CHKD so close is such a blessing! We have been there more times than I can count. Sending prayers for a smooth and speedy recovery.

    • We are so blessed. My hubs is a VP with Sentara and he was telling the nurses how thankful he was that we have amazing renowned hospitals for both adults and children in one area. This is our 3rd stay at CHKD with our kiddos. Thank you for your prayers!

  4. Kim, what a story. So glad he is home. Prayers for a quick recovery.

  5. Oh Kim, DEAR KIM
    Coming from a sporting skiing family I can ALMOST feel your pain. Oh Honey. I’m praying for you and your sweet sweet boy.
    PS-I’m the one who blinged the wine glass with the wooden mermaid you featured

  6. Hang in there young mother, he will heal! I know it is scary when your young one is hurting. Praying the Lord fills you with strength and peace and heals Mark quicky!

    • Oh Laurin, thank you, I’m flattered! You just made my day calling me young! I’m not though, I’m 46. Mark is my youngest baby, his siblings are 16, 18 & 21. Thank you for your prayer. I really appreciate it!
      All my best,

  7. Awe, this made me cry. I can’t even imagine how scared you were, and to hear those screams… bless his sweet heart! And yours.<3 Praying for quick healing, and for the patience of a saint for you BOTH because trying to keep a kiddo off his legs is going to be difficult. Maybe you can get a reading list from his teachers for next year? Just an idea!

    • Thank you Michelle! It was scary. We aren’t sure he will return to school. There are only 2 weeks left. He wants to see all his friends though so maybe for the class party we will make a showing. Thank you for all your prayers. XOXO!

  8. My son was a teen when hit by a baseball ending in a compound fracture..a sight no mother should witness. Surgery with rods and screws from ankle up. Thank God for these ortho surgeons though! You have a long road ahead..prayers for strength and a pain free recovery!

  9. Prayers for your son from Alabama. Yes, you will do anything for your child/family. I understand what you’re going thru. My husband of 41 years had Achilles’ tendon surgery May 10. He has not been able to put weight on his foot either. It’s been tough, being the wife and doing husband duties plus having grandkids here some. But, I would walk thru fire too for my family. I’m exhausted but will continue until he can walk again. He’s in a cast now but will be able to go to a boot hopefully June 13 with a little weight being put on his foot. But, good thing, we have enjoyed using the temporary handicap parking spaces. Bless you and your son! Prayers for fast healing.

    • Oh Ann! I’m so sorry about your hubs! Achilles tears are no joke. They are a very long recovery. Several of our friends, all in their 40’s too have had the surgery. Guess the “boys” can’t act like boy anymore. It’s frustrating for sure. Kudos to you for being super-wife with all your caregiving and stamina. I’ll pray that he will get his boot in 2 weeks! That will be fabulous!

      Thanks so much for the prayers.
      All my best,

      • Thank you Kim. He really hasn’t had the pain everybody said he’d have as he had a block in his thigh. As of last week, block was still in so we think that’s what helped him get over the initial “bad” pain. But, still hurts some….but thank you so much for the kind words. Again, prayers for your precious son. We have sons 38 and 35 w/DIL’s and 4 grandchildren and I worry so much while we’re on our boat on the lake.
        Prayers for you also! I know it’s been tough!

  10. Guerrina says:

    So happy to hear he is home! My son had a rod placed in the break on his thigh bone. Broke my heart as a Mom and he was 24 years old at the time (passenger in a car accident and other injuries as well). The surgeon said he’d never dealt with such a muscular thigh and I thanked God for the protection those provided.

    So I’m here to say, he will heal and be well! It just takes some time and temporary adaptation 🙂 Please find time to take some naps … the dust will wait.

    • The dust will wait…. Loved that! You made me laugh. Thank you so much. I’m glad your son has recovered and what a blessing to have such a strong, muscular son too! How horrific to deal with a car wreck, a mama’s nightmare. I’m grabbing sleep when I can. 😉

      All my best,

  11. Heather A. says:

    Oh goodness Kim, how terrifying indeed!
    Yet, comforting to know that the Lord has His hand upon your son, and will somehow bring good out of the situation.
    I will keep him lifted in prayer, as well as your family 🙂
    Also, thank you for sharing that magnificent Capture your Mom made, of the beauty of God’s “painting”… Loved the scripture too!
    Lord bless you,

  12. Your story brings me to tears. God bless your family and prayers are coming your way for not only the rapid recovery of your son, but for his continued bravery in the face of pain and immobility. What a hard thing for a child, let alone his loving family!

    • Thank you so much Linda! He has been in a good mood so far, but broke down a bit today in frustration of his limitations. Bless his little soul. I appreciate the prayers.


  13. Romeogirl says:

    Absolutely chilling story to recall for any Mom. He is a sweet child and hopefully a good patient.

  14. Martha DeMarco says:

    What an awful accident! Prayers for strength and healing.

  15. So sorry about your son’s accident. I know you and your family will weather through. Your blog fans will be here waiting for you when all is settled down and back to normal. Please don’t feel stressed out about taking time away to care for your boy. Thank goodness it’s summer and school is out. Thank you for sharing this experience with all of us. XOXO

  16. My husband’s femur was shattered in a horrific work accident, one of many injuries. They put a rod in his femur and eventually replaced it with a bigger rod when they did a bone graft. If you want to know what the rod looks like, we have the original rod and screws. My husband thought it would be cool to keep. I can send you a picture, lol. I’m sorry that your baby has to go through such horrid pain. It’s extremely difficult to watch and to feel so helpless! We’ll be praying for a quick healing for your son!

    • Hi Karen! Your hub’s injury sound awful! I hope he’s doing well now. Sure, send me the pic if you want. I wish I had an “after x-ray” to show. I’m sure we will get one soon. Thanks so much for your prayers!

      • Sorry it took me so long to get back to you! I sent the pics to your blog email. I hope your son’s feeling a little better this week!

  17. Prayers many each day

  18. Sending prayers your way.

  19. So very sorry for your poor baby!! I live here as well and we too are on/in the water constantly- and my worst fear came true for you. 🙁 Wishing Mark a speedy recovery!! Won’t be easy I know – boys do not like to sit still!! Peace love and hugs to you all!

  20. Kim, I had not heard about your poor baby but please add our family’s prayers to those already going up for you. God I ask you to hold Mark close as the healing of his leg proceeds, let all the medicines work as best as they can, please give him rest and peace as he recovers and most of all let his family feel our prayers of strength and love as they go through this together
    In Jesus strong and powerful name

  21. First time posting…prayers headed your way.

  22. Linda of No.Cal. says:

    GOD BLESS !! 🌸hugs

  23. So sorry to read about this…thoughts and prayers are with your sweet son.

  24. How terrifying, Kim! So glad he’s okay. I can’t imagine.

  25. Shirley says:

    Hey Kim….This is just a bump in the road. Your Mark will make a full recovery. Only thing is is didn’t have to be such a BIG bump. Prayers from me to you and the picture your Mother took was incredible!
    PS What a handsome boy.

  26. Marty Oravetz says:

    Oh wow, God Bless. We walked through that same storm a few years ago with our grandson. He had two legs broken in an olympic ski accident and has 2 rods in each leg and multiple screws. God is so good and so faithful to guide surgeons hands and after 6 months of therapy, he walk without even a limp. I believe the Lord guided your surgeons hands too. I will keep you all in prayer.

  27. oh my goodness, a parent’s nightmare. Your poor baby. Happy to hear he was able to get immediate attention. Prayers for healing.

  28. So very sorry. My son had a freak accident in soccer that resulted in a plate and screws in his shin and three surgeries within 9 months. As soon as you can, get him rehabbing in the pool. This really sped up the process for us. Prayers.

    • Our kids all play soccer too. I’m always nervous with my old son getting hurt. He plays varsity and elite club soccer. 3 surgeries in 9 months had to be very stressful for you all. Our summer vacation is in 2 weeks and the beach house has a pool. I’m hoping Mark will be cleared to go in by then. My husband is a PT so he will be helping out in therapy too, thankfully. Thanks so much for sharing your experience with me!

  29. Bet Stephens says:

    Still praying for a complete healing for Mark.God is good and his Mercy enduratj forever.
    Remember during this difficult time that there are Moms and Dads out there that have received reports that don’t have a answer for Thier children.
    In everything give THanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
    HIS Will is to give THANKS

    • Hi Bet! Absolutely, as difficult as this speed bump might be, spending time in the children’s hospital surrounded with kids so much worse off than Mark, puts a new perspective on our situation. God is in control and all I can do is put my trust in Him during this time. Thank you for your prayers!

  30. If you have hard flooring, a wheeled office chair can help him get around. It is not as bulky as a walker or a wheelchair. Praying that the healing goes well. Kids usually go fast.

    • Thank you for your prayers Marilyn! They delivered a child sized wheel chair but I can see how an office chair would work well too. My mom broke her foot and has been using her office chair to speed around the house. 😉

  31. Kim I can’t even imagine!! But so wonderful of you to share, I always feel like our blogs serve partly as a keepsake of time as you push through projects and memories. This post is a wonderful journel entry of your life at this moment. Thinking about your and your son as the healing begins.

  32. Kim, so sorry for your son’s injury. We have been affiliated with chkd for years. My husband’s position for ten years was as director of pediatric icu and as chairman of the department of pediatrics and finally before he retired last year he was executive medical director of the hospital. The only reason I even mentioned that is because so many people think of St Jude’s when they give $ to children’s hospitals and I would urge all of your readers to support their own local children’s hospitals who work so hard to attract and retain the high caliber faculty and staff to care for kids like your son. Unfortunately children’s hospitals have well over 50% Medicaid or non pay patients so donations go a long way to providing the “extras” that make a kid’s stay less scary and more comfortable. Unless you’ve experienced it first hand it’s hard to understand how important that is.

    I’m a big fan of your blog. Best wishes for Mark’s quick and complete recovery and hopefully he’ll be back on the water again.

    • i didnt know that, and will make my donation to CHKD in memory of my parents this month.

    • Thank you so much Janet! CHKD has been so good to us. This was our 3 time staying there with our kids and everytime the medical teams have helped subside our fears and provided great care.

  33. Stephanie says:

    Poor baby. Prayers & wishing him a speedy recovery process for you both.

  34. Linda Roberts says:

    I can imagine how scarey that was. My sons are now grown but to me they will always be my babies. Prayers for your precious little son as he recovers. Kids are something else, they can bounce back a lot faster than adults. Prayers for you too as you tend to him. Our God is an awesome God who loves us unconditionally like we love our kids.

  35. DONNA GULYAS says:

    Kim, I am so sorry that your son got injured like that, especially since I witnessed my husband receive a similar injury back in 1997. He was slalom waterskiing on Candlewood Lake in Connecticut for one last round for the day. His ski must have hooked onto something submerged in the water, it telescoped toe end downward and twisted. I was a volunteer EMT at the time, so I already had experience with fractured femurs. We splinted his leg in the water, then we got him back onboard the boat. I quickly realized that his femur was in several pieces. Fortunately, the surgeon that he was blessed with was the sports doctor for the Giants NFL team. The doctor had never seen such a severely strange fractured femur before, but he was able to piece his femur back together with a long plate running from one end of his femur to the other end and ten screws (Yes, his leg does set off the alarms at airports…..lol). His recovery was painful and difficult, but he is doing fine today, with only slight discomfort during stormy weather (not so bad for a man in his 60’s). Florida weather is better for him, away from freezing Connecticut winters. Your son’s young age will definitely help him. Tell him that each day that passes is one less day for his leg to heal and have total recovery. He’s a warrior!! Prayers and gentle hugs….

    • Oh wow, your husband’s break sounds horrible! That had to be scary. I’m glad he’s doing better now. It has been a challenging experience so far but each day he is improving slowly. Thank you for your prayers and sharing your story with me!
      All my best,

  36. Kim, I was so sorry to hear this news, but glad that things turned out well in surgery and now the healing begins. I wish Mark a speedy recovery and for him to get well soon! Hugs to you, mama!

  37. how horrifying for your little guy and your family…I cant imagine the fear you all endured. May he heal quickly, he’s young and strong. Keep the faith, he definitely had an angel looking out for him that fateful day.


    Prayers to you and your Family!!..Thank God for good medical care we have here in the United States!!..What a beautiful Sunset!..Tell your Mom I want to move there!!

  39. Marilyn says:

    Will keep Mark in my thoughts and prayers. Get well Mark. God Bless you and yours.

  40. I will continue to keep Mark and your family in my prayers. I will pray for Mark to heal quickly and hopefully with each day his pain will lessen. God bless you Kim.


  41. Kim, I’m so sorry this has happened. I will keep you and your son in my prayers as he recovers. My best friend in South Carolina has a 16 year old that on Tuesday had the very same thing happen. He was wake boarding. As of yesterday he was still in the hospital as they were watching for blood clots and pain management. Here’s to a speedy recovery for you guys!

    • Oh wow, I’m so sorry to hear about your friend’s son. My husband and my teens (16 & 18) do crazy jumps wakeboarding too. I know I’ll be on edge next time we go boating. I’ll say a prayer for her son. Thank you so much!

  42. Jennifer says:

    We do not know each other- I saw your post on FB after a friend reacted- so sorry this happened to your boy- the X-ray made me cry out… I hope he has a full and fast, uncomplicated recovery and wish him (& your family) all the best.

  43. The accident was heartbreaking to read about. But your mother’s snapshot and your real-life account of walking through The Storm, both as a Mother and also as a Child of God, brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for the needed inspiration as I sit facing The Storm. xoxo

  44. Mark will be in my prayers as he recovers. He sounds like a brave little guy and he is lucky to have such a strong, loving and spiritual Mom.

  45. Sandy Park says:

    Kim, so sorry to hear about Mark’s accident. May God speed his recovery and give you strength to be there for him. God bless you and your family.

  46. Hang in there – one day this will all be a memory. That’s what an ortho nurse told us 14+ years ago after my husband broke BOTH wrists! it changed our life for a few months -um, a grown man suddenly without the use of either arm can sure test a marriage 😉 we came out on the other end stronger than ever and you know what…..that nurse was right 😉

    Lots of continued prayers for all of you! xoxox

  47. Karen Newsom Miles says:

    Hi Kim,
    A friend sent me a link to your site this morning. My 16- year-old son Ben had a similar accident wakeboarding on Tuesday. He broke his femur near where it connects with the pelvis. He has 3 screws in his hip. We are still at the hospital but hope to go home today.
    I would love to connect with you so we can share tips on how to make their recovery as smooth as possible.
    My cell # is 864-221-2988

    • Thank you Karen! I’m so sorry about your son. I never was that nervous about skiing or wakeboarding but now I am. All my older kids and husband do crazy big jumps and whip around like crazy wakeboarding. My heart will be in my throat now. Bathroom issues and transferring there and back are the biggest issues for us at the moment. I’ll pray for your son and his recovery too!

      • Karen Newsom Miles says:

        Thanks, Kim! Ben is home and seems to be having the same issues. His frustration level is high today. My other son is a professional wakeboarder and I have always worried about knee and shoulder injuries which are common to the spot. However, this was very unexpected and like you said opens more concerns. I saw in your comments that someone mentioned getting in the pool for therapy. I will definitely ask about that when we see our doctor next week. Speedy recovery to your son!

  48. Vanessa says:

    Praise God for His blessings and healing mercies. Prayers for your son and family🙏

  49. Godspeed. Little troopers heal fast. So happy that it is all repairable. I have metal inmy neck, 2 rods, 4plates and 16screws, we are part of the bionic team of heroes. Take care of yourselves and one day, this will be a great story!!!! 🙂

  50. Oh my goodness, love and prayers to you and your family, Kim! How scary! Glad the docs were able to do something for him. And he’s not alone. There are a lot of us out there who will welcome him to the club of people who will always get interesting questions when they walk through the medical detectors. I have partial knee replacement stemming back from an accident when I was about Mark’s age {got smacked off my bike by a drunk driver when I was riding around the neighborhood}. As one of your commenters above said, one day, this will all be just a memory!

  51. aussiebushgirl says:

    So gutted for you all. Sending love and strength, and prayers of healing for Mark’s full recovery. ~ heather xo

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